Of Song Jae Rim’s Allure & Sax

Woohoo!!

SONG JAE RIM said he’s so hot and bothered by his pretend-wifey in We Got Married (WGM), KIM SO EUN, that he’s GONNA HAVE TROUBLE SLEEPING!

Watch this steamy clip from the latest WGM ep aired yesterday, and you’ll know why. Gotta respect this guy for his restraint, fwahwahwah! Can totally imagine the cold shower he’s gonna take!


So hot! *fans self*

The LTE couple was doing a photo shoot for Allure magazine, and the concept was to show a couple through six stages of skinskip, from the unfamiliar and awkward Stage 1 on to the closer and more intimate stages progressively.

The chemistry between them is undeniable, in fact, it’s downright electrifying. I know, I know, the show’s probably very heavily scripted, and I also know these two are actors. But still, no one can fake sexual tension THIS thick!

Check out some of the shots!

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And, some BTS photos have also been released. Here…

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What about you? Are you following this couple too?

Most of my friends just can’t stop shipping them after they started watching. Hehe, one common ‘complaint’ everyone has is… Why can’t their segments be loooooonger?

Yea, Saturdays can’t come sooner these days!

I watched the Chinese subbed ones coz they come out faster, usually on Saturday night itself or early Sunday. I’ve had some people ask me where I watch WGM. Well, you can watch it on 千寻影视 app, available on both iOS and Android.

Or you can also watch it from HERE, HERE, or HERE.


I know some of you have only just started watching WGM, but you might have missed out reading on the news that came out earlier. HERE’s an interview where Song Jae Rim talked about why he decided to appear on WGM.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait for NEXT WEEK’s EP!


Seems like I ain’t the only one going bananas over this couple, I’ve read some of the comments HERE and haha, I know I’m not alone. Just in case you’re not familiar, Netizenbuzz posts translation of Korean netizens’ comments to dramas or news and overseas fans will leave their comments after reading the Koreans’ POVs.

But if you’re really into spazzing, the SOOMPI OFFICIAL SONG JAE RIM x KIM SO EUN THREAD is a fab place to hang around. The comments are sometimes hilarious! The spazzing can hit dazzling level sometimes, what with their super sharp eyes and mighty acute observation, hee!


And oh, Song Jae Rim seems to be gaining popularity lately. He’s been picked to pair up with IU to front SBENU shoes!

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And he’s even gone to Japan to hold his own fan meeting!

I haven’t seen any clips or read any detailed news on that, but seems that he’d played the guitar and also sax for the Japanese fans! Believe these pics were of him practising

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Talking about sax…

Did you see him on Saturday Night Live (SNL)?


He also did a super duper cute and funny little clip for the R-rated SNL! Gotta say this is a very clean ‘dirty’ clip.

Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe for work, hee! MUST WATCH! IT’s FUNNNNNY!


Love love love men with strong arms.

Yea, like Song Jae Rim. Okie, okie, I just needed an excuse to post this photo where he showed off his sinewy arms!

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Soju, Maekju, Somaek & Cojinganmek!

Gosh, only three blog posts in the November month for me! Whatever happened to the blogger who used to blog practically everyday, and sometimes, more than once a day?

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Yea, back when I used to blog, I blogged really ferociously. So prolific I was that there were even days when I churned out three to five posts in a single day.

Beats me where I found so much stuff to rant and ramble about. (And the energy! What fueled me, man?!!) Haha, maybe age has indeed found out where I live and caught up. Or, maybe I just ain’t as sensitive about things no more. Or, maybe there’re so so so many content creators these days I don’t even have time to consume all the reading that I wanna, let alone churn my own contents.

It’s almost strange how we now enjoy such advanced technology and progress that productivity has improved in LTE speed, and yet many of us don’t find ourselves with any more free time and ‘me‘ time.


Read this rather interesting article on WHY THE THREE-HOUR WORK DAYS HAVEN’T HAPPENED YET. I think point 3 is super valid, that there’s no limit to human desires, which I also link to the FOMO syndrome.


And oh, instant messaging apps, social media platforms, etc etc etc, definitely ain’t helping at all. Everything and in fact everyone, too, are so invisible and everything’s so instantaneous, so online there’s no escaping. Accessibility is enhanced so much that we remain contactable no matter where and when. Everyone is really just a data plan away.

Then I realised that most part of the problem is me.

It is me who sometimes allow myself to work on someone else’s schedule. Just because someone’s email or message comes in at that time does not have to mean that I have to drop everything and attend to the incoming item all the time, ya?

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Always differentiate between what’s important and urgent, and what’s important but not urgent.

Hahahaha, and I’d thought that at this age, I’d already mastered the art of not being bothered when I don’t think I wanna or should be bothered.


Anyway, I digressed… Wanna share a little tidbit before I get on to the blog post proper. I was looking up search strings for this blog just to have a feel of how some people end up here. Here, check this out.

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Interesting… Other than those of you who already ‘know’ me, seems like people have found their way here coz of (korean) food and Song Jae Rim!

Haha, guess they must be pretty disappointed huh? This ain’t a Korean-centric blog or Kdrama or Kpop blog. This is just my personal blog, oopsies!


Anyway, back to what I wanna blog about today! Me gonna yak about soju (소주) and maekju (믹주) today!

I’ve already blogged about MAKGEOLLI previously, so I reckon I should also touch on soju a little.

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Soju is almost like a way of life in Korea. It’s cheap and it’s everywhere. In Korea, there’re some ‘definitive’ products that celebs cover the endorsement contracts for, and the fight to front soju brands is particularly intense. Why? Coz like I’d said soju features very very prominently in the everyday lives of many Koraens.

In fact, I would go so far as to describe soju as Korea’s national liquor. Helps that it’s very cheap (like less than S$2) and available everywhere.

Soju is a clear alcohol traditionally made from rice and typically containing some 20% alcohol by volume. Yea, super potent, so do drink with care. The effects of this particular booze burn rather slowly, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself suddenly hit with wooziness.


HOW TO DRINK SOJU

Well, you can just pour it into a shotglass and drink, hehe!

The Koreans appear to have some pretty sticky rules about drinking, and I’d blogged about basic Korean drinking etiquette HERE. But hey, we’re foreigners, so we don’t really have to bother with these things much, it’s really more like knowledge for fun.

But I do like how the Koreans don’t pour their own drinks. Usually the maknae or most junior in rank will keep an active lookout of whose glasses are empty and help to refill. If pouring for or receiving drinks from someone older or more senior than you, use both hands.

Oh, I’ve had someone asked me twice this week alone how the Koreans say ‘cheers‘, as in what do they say when they clink glasses. They say ‘Gun bae‘ (乾杯) or ‘Zzang!’

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ONE SHOT

Sometimes someone at the table may shout ‘One shot!’ and what usually happens next is that everyone will raise their glasses and drink up, all in a single shot. You might even see some turn their glasses upside down above their heads to show that they’ve downed everything.

Yup, their ‘One shot‘ in equivalent to our ‘Bottoms up‘.

And oh, for the immensely curious amongst you, a bottle of soju fills seven and a half shot glasses.


SOMAEK! (SOJU + MAEKJU!)

Although soju is often consumed straight (yea, neat), it is also sometimes used in mixers as the base spirit, as with many clear liquors.

The most common one is to mix soju and beer. Beer is maekju (믹주) in Korean, and when soju and maekju come together, you get so-maek (소맥)

Don’t hold me to it, but it’s been said the golden proportion is 3 parts soju 7 parts beer. That way, you don’t get too much soju until you miss the beer, nor do you drink all beer and there’s no crispy bite of soju.

The easy way to prepare this is to pour soju into a beer glass and then pour the beer and drink up.

But hey, a slightly more fanciful way is to do it this way, with lotsa happy shake ^o^


SOJU BOMB

Now some of you might have heard about soju bombs, or what the Koreans refer to as poktanju (폭탄주). That translates literally into Bomb Drink (ju is alcoholic drink),

This is a variation of maekju where a shotglass of soju is dropped into a glass or mug of beer, like dropping a bomb.


SOJU BOMB TRAIN

Some people also refer to this as the Seoul Train Soju Bomb. Basically, it’s a row or rows or some formation of the soju bomb, but done such that the shot glasses of soju sit on the rim of adjacent glasses of beer and they’re dropped a la the domino effect.

Messy yes, but lotsa fun and excitement, hehe! So, my advice is to do it when you’re outside and not at your own home!


In case you’re wondering where you can order a soju bomb train here in Singapore, you can try BOSS BBQ AT CLARKE QUAY.

Hehe, we tried it once there!

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Or just go to any Korean restaurants and order soju and beer and do your own soju bombs!


COJINGANMEK (COLA + SOJU + BEER)

Wanna share with you something that was introduced to me a couple of years back when we were on the ONGO FOOD TOUR. Yea, I know, I know, we’ve been to Seoul like sooooo many times and yet we decided to join a food tour… Hee, but it was plenty fun!

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First things first, the name.

Literally, Cojinganmek (구징안픽) means sweetness comes at the end of bitterness. Yes, what the Chinese says 苦盡甘來. Should be easy to guess by now that the drink is harsh and tough at first, but ends with a sweet note, ya?

Nice to remind us once in a while that we have to go through the bad things or tough times first, before the good stuff or good news will come.

Here, a superb graphical depiction of Cojinganmek from GELO REYES

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I really really really like this!

It’s basically a mix of one part cola, one part soju and one part beer. Its name is superbly apt for a drink that starts with the rougher taste of somaek, before finishing sweetly with a shot of cola.

imageThere are different ways to prepare this drink, but you will definitely need two shotglasses and one beer glass or mug. My own experience is the smallish beer glass works best.

You can pour a shot of cola first, drop it into the beer glass, then pour soju into the second shot glass and drop it on top of the first soju glass, and then fill the glass with beer.


Or you can do this, I think it’s less fuss this way. Drop the first (empty) shot glass into the beer glass, then pour the cola, and then drop the second (empty) shot glass on top of the first shot glass of cola, then pour the soju, and then finish off by pouring beer into the glass.

Yup, the difference between the two methods is whether you pour the cola and soju into the glasses first before dropping them into the glass. I think the second method is less messy as the drinks won’t splash as much, haha!


If that’s too much for you to read or digest, just watch this clip! And of course, you can substitute the cola with some other sweet carbonated drink.


FRUITY SOJU COCKTAIL

And there’re also the other more slushy or fruity soju cocktails, like yogurt soju, watermelon soju, pineapple soju, apple soju, etc etc etc.

You can try them when you’re in Korea, or hehe, you can also check out CHICKEN UP.


Shall leave you with this mighty impressive and entertaining clip of how one guy does his somaek! And hehe, the part where he popped open the beer bottle cap with the spoon? Ahhh… the long-buried Joongbo feels came rushing back!

MUST WATCH, K?


Makgeolli… Taste of the Moon in a Jar

First things things… I wanna declare


I TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, ABSOLUTELY LOVE MAKGEOLLI!

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There are several variations to romanizing makgeolli, but the most commonly seen ones are makgeolli (which is closest to the original Korean pronunciation), and makkoli, which is more commonly used in Japan.


So what is Makgeolli?

It’s the oldest alcoholic beverage in Korea, made from a mixture of wheat and rice which gives it its signature milky, off-white colour and sweetness. It is made from fermenting this mixture of boiled rice, wheat and water and is about 6-8% alcohol by volume.

Also called ‘takju‘ after its cloudy appearance, makgeolli is made by steaming glutinous rice, barley or wheat with water and the fermentation starter, nuruk. Unlike other traditional clear liquors like soju or cheongju, makgeolli isn’t distilled after fermentation, hence its milky, opaque appearance.

Back in the old days, way before industrialization, makgeolli is really more of a nongju (농주 / 農酒). Translated literally to ‘farm wine’, its origins was farmers’ liquor.

It lost favour in the 1970s, but has UNDERGONE MUCH TRANSFORMATION and is becoming more popular amongst the younger generation in the past decade, especially in more recent years. (Image below lifted from KOREA IT TIMES)

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Some people described Makgeolli as KOREAN RICE WINE, but it’s really more like Korean rice beer if you ask me, hehe!


Health Benefits?!

Yessss! Believe it or not, there are HEALTH BENEFITS to drinking makgeolli! Aside from the alcohol, the bulk of makgeolli is pure nutrition!

Other than the 80% water and 6-8% alcohol, makgeolli consists of 2% protein, 0.8% carbohydrates, 0.1% fat and 10% dietary fiber, along with vitamins B and C, lactobacilli and yeast.

Makgeolli is unfiltered and contains high levels of lactic acid and lactobacillus bacteria (said to be 500 times the level in yogurt!), which may positively affect immune function and slow the aging process. No wonder the ladies love it.

Yup, it in nutshell, makgeolli helps digestion, improves immune function and slows down the ageing process! No kidding!


How to Drink Makgeolli

Well, you can drink it neat (hehe, no ice please!), but remember to give it a good rousing shake if pouring from a bottled draft makgeolli!

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Or you can also add a spritz of Sprite or 7-up into the drink to fizz it up! I love drinking it this way coz it’s like some sweet carbonated alcoholic drink!


Let me just sidetrack a little here… You know how we usually associated cider with apples? You might wanna know that cider doesn’t quite mean the same thing in Korea. I’m not sure why… but I do know that Lotte had launched Chilsung Cider, the first soft drink in Korea, back in 1950. It’s really like our Sprite or 7-Up, sorta a lemon lime soda. And from then on, cider is meant to refer to any lemon lime sode like Chilsung cider, Sprite or 7-Up. Nope, no apples or alcohol involved.


And now back to makgeolli…

Of course, you can also drink use makgeolli as ingredient to a fruit cocktail. Works better with fruits from the citrus family though.

This video is about an outing to a makgeolli bar in Itaewon. In the video, you can see the hosts trying many different kinds of makgeolli, including mango, grape and honey makgeolli!


Best Time for Makgeolli?

Rainy days!

Really! There’s a tradition of drinking makgeolli and eating Korean pancakes when it rains!

Remember I was talking about how makgeolli used to be the farmers’ liquor? So on days when it rained, the farmers could not get to the fields to work, so they would gather to just drink makgeolli, and one of the easiest and cheapest food to prepare was fried pancake. That’s the origin of rainy day cuisine, really!!

And there’s also some talk that the sizzling sound of frying the pancake is not unlike the sound of falling rain, pitter patter pitter patter…

What a lovely notion, ya? Guess I’ve been following the Korean culture long enough to be conditioned to crave for makgeolli and pancakes when it’s raining!

if you haven’t tried it, you should!


More on Korean Pancakes

Jeon‘ (전) is an umbrella term that refers to any (Korean) food made like a pancake. Jeon, or buchimgae (부침개), or jijim (지짐), is made with ingredients (sliced meat, vegetables, seafood) that is first coated in flour or egg (or batter), and then pan-fried in oil.

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I love love love anything made from flour, so you can imagine how much I adore jeon! Here’s where I satisfy my jeon craving in Singapore:

For seafood pancake, I go to Red Pig.
For leek pancake, I go to Kkokkonara.
For kimchi pancake, I go to Wang Daebak.


And of course, all three places serve makgeolli, hee! So now, you know where to go when it rains!

Other than pancakes, some Koreans also like their makgeolli with tofu kimchi. Me too!


Makgeolli Bars in Seoul

I highly recommend at least a visit to the makgeolli bar during your next visit to Korea. I’d only discovered makgeolli bars in the last couple of years, and been beating myself for not starting to go there earlier!

There’s something special about the ambience of makgeolli bars. Perhaps it’s also the sweet lure of the drink (it’s miraculously one of those that can get you drunk if you drink enough, but won’t give you a hangover!) that coaxes the most heartfelt of conversations amongst friends and loved ones. I just adore the entire experience of it all!


And of course, it’s so cheap too! I keep telling friends that it’s even cheaper than drinking coffee at some cafes… so drinking should start earlier in the day, fwahwahwah!

Each jug of makgeolli (flavoured or otherwise) is usually less than 10,000 KRW!! Really!

And the anju (side dishes that accompany the drinking 下酒菜) are usually super yummy! I usually go for the pancake, the tofu kimchi and some diced pork dish. These goes extremely well with makgeolli!

In case you’re actually planning your trip to Seoul as you’re reading this, let me recommend you three makgeolli bars in Seoul!


DANIMGIL, HONGDAE

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ZZANG…! My all-time fave is Danimgil in the Hongdae area. It’s not famous amongst foreigners, so that’s nice, haha!

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Although in Hongdae, it’s actually located on an upper level off the less touristy part of Hongdae. I love the darkly lit place, the cozy tables and omnipresent service. The perfect elements of the quieter type of makgeolli bars which I love love love!

Lord knows how many heart-to-heart girly talks we’ve had here!

Another notable thing about this place is they will serve you a sampler when you’re seated. Something like this, complete with names.

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And do try the half-half Korean pancake that’s uber nice here!

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WOLHYANG, HONGDAE

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I understand that Wolhyang is popular amongst the peeps from the performing arts scene in Seoul, and oh, the Japanese also love this place.

It’s quite a biggish place with two sections, and the menu’s pretty extensive too.

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Yup, also in Hongdae and it’s also ‘upstairs’, hehe! Decor’s colourful and vibrant. Lotsa character and personality, but not overwhelming or intimidating.

Click HERE to check out some fab photos of the Wolhyang.


MOON JAR, APGUJEONG

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Moon Jar actually doesn’t need any more introduction. It’s been around for some time now, and it’s made the rungs of many Must-Visit-Makgeolli-Bars-in-Seoul again and again, year after year. Read more HERE,

One other interesting snippet you might wanna know is that Kpop celebs have also been spotted at this place.

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Housed in a white stand-alone building in the swanky Apgujeong area, Moon Jar is an interesting makgeolli bar in that the compounds is divided into sections, not unlike different rooms in a house. Each section has its own distinct and distinctive concept and flavour. Even if you’re seated on one floor, do go check out the other rooms on your floor and others, ya?

Other than makgeolli, this place also packs a neat pancake!

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I can’t be sure if this happens every winter, but it happened when I visited Moon Jar one winter. The staff was roasting sweet potatoes in open fire and they gave these super yummylicious sweet potatoes to the patrons! Woohoo!

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I think the Koreans normally already love sweet potato if their sweet potato latte is anything to go by. Sweet potatoes (or what they call goguma) is very much an essential snack in the wintertime. The Koreans refer to these roasted sweet potatoes goon goguma.


If you’re keen to find out more about the makgeolli bars in Seoul, you can also check out MMPKOREA, This blog is run by a group of people who love makgeolli and would share reviews of makgeolli and makgeolli bars. I think they organize meet-ups at makgeolli bars too.


Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this very informative and fairly interesting video on makgeolli. Watch!